Tips for Integrating Sustainability into the Supply Chain
Almost 150 publishers in the United States, Canada and Europe are committed to eliminating their use of papers that contain fibers from endangered forests. Nearly 15 book papers with strong environmental attributes have been developed in North America in the past few years.
But what came first—the chicken or the egg? Was it market demand from publishers and printers that spurred paper development? Or was it the product development efforts of mills and suppliers that made available new options and prices that appealed to publishers? It was and will continue to be both, and the more each link in the supply chain talks to one another, the more options that will become available.
To avoid affecting endangered forests, publishers are seeking out papers that contain the highest amounts of recycled fiber and/or fiber certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). From a procurement standpoint, these two paper attributes have the most beneficial impacts.
But having goals isn't necessarily enough. It helps for publishers and printers to communicate these goals as early as possible throughout the supply chain.
"With the high cost of new product development, it helps to have reliable signals that you will find buyers for your product once you bring it to market," says Robert Zbikowski, general sales manager at Cascades Fine Papers.
SUPPLY CHAIN RESPONSIVENESS: MILLS
Glatfelter has been a leader in the development of recycled book papers for quite some time, and its recent addition of the Natures line, manufactured with 50-percent postconsumer recycled fiber, is a testament to this leadership.
"Developing scale and equivalent economics depends on customer interest and manufacturing costs," says Mark Pitts, corporate director of Glatfelter's fine papers division. "Any future shifts will continue to involve cooperative understanding and endorsement on both the demand and supply sides of the equation."